A line of tracks from under the porch to the creek and back look like the prints a very small man walking on his hands would make: raccoon.
Three inches of fresh snow, unmarred by a single human track. A scrabbling of claws: five squirrels on the trunk of a dead maple.
With the snowpack in retreat, those seedheads I’d gotten so used to seeing have disappeared back into the underlying chaos of dead weeds.
After a warm night, the bare spots are bigger than the patches of white, except in the woods and in the sky. The creek sings higher notes.
Thick fog and a slow dripping of meltwater onto the porch roof. Some of the animal tracks in the yard have melted through—dark portholes.
The mutter and whine of a distant two-stroke engine. Though the sun’s a dim smear, I can’t stop sneezing. A Carolina wren trills in alarm.
Squirrels on the ground: one makes a detour to run along a fallen tree, another digs a walnut out of the dirt and buries it in the snow.
January thaw. A nuthatch finds a dead branch so resonant, its probing taps sound as loud as a woodpecker’s, and it flees to a quieter tree.
Traffic noise from over the hill is deafening—the icy snowpack has become a sounding board. In the tulip tree, four slow, amorous squirrels.
I hold out my glasses and peer at a drop of water left over from the shower: fisheye lens in which the sun falls from bent, inverted trees.
Overcast, with a smell of burning plastic in the air. Half-way up the ridge, two crows move about in the treetops without making a sound.
The sky is mangy, with blue patches showing through, and the yard is leprose with tracks. A rabbit twitches under the deer-ravaged rosebush.
Cold and overcast. A grooming cardinal reaches under his wings, dining on lice. Juncos peck grit from the road to replenish their gizzards.
Sleek silhouette of a sharp-shinned hawk. In the rosebush’s densely scribbled heart, the faint throbbing of something with very small bones.